Diocese of Oxford

Letter from The Rector – July 2021

Rev’d Paul and Nicci Boddam-Whetham

Dear Friends, it has nearly come to that “time to say goodbye” and Nicci and I hope our departure from Ducklington will leave the church and village in good heart and voice as society begins, slowly, to open up again to a post-pandemic normality.

As I look back over the five years that I have been in post as rector, I hope that there will be positive memories of our shared journey of faith over that time. I know there are some who found my style challenging and if that continues to be a barrier in your freedom to worship than I ask your forgiveness and pray that you do not let the means of worship get between you the worshipper and God who is worshipped! I hope that I have set down some foundation stones for the continued mission within the village and that prayer, studying God’s word and worship continue to provide the framework for personal and communal growth in trust and faith.

Nicci and I will be moving from The Rectory in two phases taking time to set up our new home during July, planning to complete the move on 3 and 4 August. We will take a few months out to rest and relax and discern what God has planned for us in Tring. I shall certainly offer to take up a role as a Chaplaincy Visitor at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, having fulfilled this function when I was curate at St. Albans. I shall also enjoy discovering the Chiltern Hills with the support of my electric bike: I’ve even suggested to Nicci that she can accompany me on our adventures but she’s somewhat hesitant, having not sat on a bike for nearly 60 years!

It may be that you too need to pluck up the confidence to “get on your bike” and follow the trail which God has planned for you. Some of your exploration will be on your own as you deepen your personal relationship with God, discovering what he has to reveal to you, through his triune personality. Other adventures in faith need to be pursued within the fellowship, as you deepen the experience of communal worship by studying God’s word, praying and singing in celebration. It seems such a long time ago since we’ve been able to sing together, but “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.” [Colossians 3:16]

With our prayers for God’s grace and blessing,